More than anything, autumn is the season of brilliant colors, and most of us are immediately drawn to them. However, as much as we relish them, the colors can also prompt us to ponder. In one of the earliest posts on Nature’s Depths, “Our Brightly Colored World” (November 29, 2015), almost exactly four years ago, we asked, where do colors come from and how do we get to see them? Let’s look at that question again now, and then take it further.
The paths that fan out from the Eastman Nature Center near our home in Maple Grove, Minnesota, continue to be a source of inspiration for me. I go walking there almost every day, and each time something new catches my eye and finds its way into my camera.
The last piece I wrote for Nature’s Depths, dated November 24, 2019, bore the name “Beauty and Love.” Almost exactly eight months have passed since then, eight months since my beloved of sixty years left this world, eight months since my life was permanently changed. And yet, some important things have not changed, and walking in Nature with open eyes, an inquisitive mind, and a responsive heart is one of them.
The back wall of the house where we spend each summer is lined with plants that have been among my favorites since my childhood—hollyhocks (Alcaea, most often A. rosea, Family Malvaceae). The stems grow tall enough to project above the rain gutters. The buds at the top give way to open flowers below, and then to maturing fruits near the bottom. Every morning bumblebees arrive to frolic in the flowers, flitting from one to another. A garden paradise awaiting a close look!